Tips for when and how to use Feed Rules in Google Merchant Center

With Google’s roll out of the new Merchant Center interface came more functionality for Feed Rules. Feed Rules debuted earlier this year to allow marketers to make some changes to their product feed data right within Merchant Center. But what can you really do with Feed Rules and who should be using them?
The consensus is that Feed Rules are still best for simple updates, and it’s ideal to make changes to the actual feed. In reality, however, that’s not always possible or timely and why Feed Rules have such appeal.
Maggie Webb, Partner at Five Mill Inc., says that while most fixes and feed updates require editing by a feed service or developer, Feed Rules can offer a fix in the interim and be a big help to smaller businesses that don’t have resources at the ready to make updates. “Since a high percentage of ecommerce traffic is from Google Shopping, even a simple change from a Feed Rule can make a big impact on an account,” says

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Google expansion of Local Inventory Ad product search now live in Maps and Knowledge Panels

In May, Google announced it would soon give retailers running Local Inventory Ads, another way for searchers to find out if a product is available in their local store. That functionality is now live, with retailers like Ikea, Macy’s and REI participating.
The new “Search items at this store” feature is available both in the Knowledge Panel and Google Maps results for participating retailers. Here’s what a Macy’s store listing looks like in desktop search:

Nicolai Helling spotted the feature on a search for Ikea Waldorf Germany. Here’s what that store’s listing looks like in Maps on mobile. The link text in Maps on both mobile and desktop is black for some reason, making it less obvious that it’s clickable. (This feature was not showing on mobile search for retailers when I looked.)

Clicking on the link takes users to a Google-powered landing page that features all of the inventory slated as available in the advertiser’s Local Inventory product feed that powers Local Inventory Ad campaigns.

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Shopping campaigns: Play like every day is a holiday

Shopping campaigns are becoming a major source of website clicks and revenue during the holiday season, and the “Shopping Campaigns: Play Like Every Day Is A Holiday” panel at SMX Advanced featured tips and advice from three PPC veterans: Ann Stanley, Todd Bowman, and Mona Elesseily.
Ann Stanley: Shopping ads, buy buttons, social commerce & remarketing
Shopping ads and buy buttons are everywhere. Stanley explored those areas where ads are driven by product feeds, and clicks either lead to retailer websites or convert on host platforms. Her talk was full of data insights and provided a neat map divided into three conversion areas:
Area #1: The search giants: David Bing vs. Goliath Google
Thanks to Windows 10, Bing Shopping ads share is growing (21% US, 9% UK). With Google Shopping winning by volume, Bing nearly always shows lower CPCs. In terms of conversion and ROAS efficiency, results vary heavily by vertical. Bottom line: if you target the US or UK, give Bing

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Can you manage your inventory with Google Shopping?

We are often asked by our clients if we can use Google Shopping or paid search to push particular products or product groups.
There are a number of reasons why they might want to do this. They might have high stock levels of a particular product; some ranges might be out of date, and they wish to sell off remaining stock; or perhaps a product is not selling as well as they had hoped, and they wish to boost the sales.
On the face of it, Google Shopping seems like a good platform for this task. Advertisers can pay more to increase the exposure of a particular product, rather than bid on keywords alone (as is the case with standard text ads). Hence, advertisers often believe Google Shopping is the ideal means to proactively manage inventory and stock levels.
However, behind this approach is the assumption that there is a direct relationship between what consumers search for and what they end up

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Google Product Listing Ads officially launch in Image search, among announcements for retailers

Purchases on Google testing continues, Product Listing Ads are getting access to more inventory and brick-and-mortar retailers running local inventory ads see some new features. These are among the announcements from Google at Shoptalk in Las Vegas on Monday.
Product Listing Ads in image search
Ads in Google image search first started appearing in the fourth quarter of last year. First noticed by Merkle, the ads are officially launching Monday. On mobile, they display in a carousel format above the organic images. Image search is considered part of the Google Search Network. If your Shopping campaign is opted in to Search partners, Product Listing Ads (PLAs) will automatically be eligible to show in image search results.

Store pickup promotion in Local Inventory Ads
Retailers using Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) can now include a “store pickup” link for shoppers who want to buy online and pick up their orders in store. The option appears on the local product landing page hosted by Google after a user

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Google adds Merchant Center Feed Rules to make formatting shopping feeds easier

Let’s face it, shopping feeds are a pain. Such a pain that an entire cottage industry has sprung up to help retailers with the nuisance of product feed formatting and management. On Tuesday, Google released Feed Rules to make it a little easier for those advertisers and retailers managing Google Shopping feeds on their own to get feed data formatted correctly.
“You can export and submit your product data in your own format, and use different rules to transform it into product attributes and values that follow the Google Shopping feed specification, directly in Merchant Center,” Sven Herschel, product manager for Google Shopping, explained in a blog post.
From the new Feed rules tab in Merchant Center, you can now set rules to change column headers and values used in your product data to match those used by Google — e.g., “for women” to “female” as shown in the screenshot from Google below.
Additionally, you can add missing attributes by setting rules that can

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Five reasons why GTIN should be your new favorite Google Shopping acronym

There’s a deadline coming up in the wonderful world of Google Shopping. Third Door Media’s paid media reporter Ginny Marvin talked about it back in February, and you might be seeing some warnings on the Diagnostics tab in Merchant Center.
Here’s the deal: If you sell a product that has a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), you need to include that in your feed by May 16, 2016, or else those items will be disapproved.
You’re probably already including some of these, as we’ve required this from 50 brands for more than six months, and many of you have been providing GTINs for most products in your feed for years. But now you need to include it for everything that’s a new brand-name product sold by multiple merchants.
Like all of you, I have complicated emotions when it comes to deadlines. They help get things done, but they can also be a pain in the butt. There’s plenty of other stuff

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Bing Shopping Campaigns now out of beta in UK

After launching Shopping campaigns in the US in July, Bing extended product ads to the UK and Australia with a beta test of Shopping Campaigns the following month. Now, Shopping Campaigns are fully rolled out in the UK.
Shopping campaigns in Bing reflect the campaign structure for product listing ads that Google introduced in 2013 and made available globally in early 2014.
Currently, Bing Shopping campaigns are available in the US, the UK, Australia, France, and most recently, in Germany. Shopping campaigns can be built from scratch in Bing Ads or imported from AdWords.
The post Bing Shopping Campaigns now out of beta in UK appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google makes AdWords Products tab more useful for Shopping campaigns

Google is finally bringing some functional heft to the Products tab. Managers will now find “Product status” and “Effective max CPC” columns in the Products tab in AdWords.
The Products status column (You can add it from the Columns drop-down) will let you know if a specific product is ready to serve, disapproved, excluded or out of stock.
With the new Effective max CPC column, you can make bid adjustments right from the Products tab on individual products within your product groups.
Speaking of product groups, in the Products groups tab, new inventory status columns are now available. See percentages and totals for products ready to serve, active, approved and total submitted products. This will save you some time, since you won’t have to dig into Merchant Center.

And in another bit of a bonus for Shopping campaigns managers, Google has also added more Shopping info in AdWords Report Editor. You can now see attributes like brand or product type for Shopping campaigns and build

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Google PLAs: Testing scrollable carousel on desktop & numbered rankings for “best” products go live

This week in Google PLAs, a new test launches, while one that was first spotted nearly two years ago rolls out across the SERPs.
Scrolling carousel on desktop
In what looks like the latest effort to bring desktop experience in line with that of mobile, Google is testing a scrollable carousel of product listing ads (PLAs) in the search results.
Spotted by Sushan Sharma, an arrow appears to the right of a PLA block that appears at the top of the mainline results. Once you finish scrolling, the arrow appears on the left side of the ad block.

This treatment is similar to the scrollable PLA carousel that Google displays in mobile search results.
This, of course, is not the only test Google is running on PLA layouts on desktop. Earlier this year, an expandable variation that showed up to 16 ads was spotted by ChannelAdvisor.
Ranked PLAs for “top” and “best” products
Just yesterday, a test that first started in 2014 rolled out of testing. Now, when a search includes

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